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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: [Couchdb Wiki] Trivial Update of "CouchDB_in_the_wild" by wentforgold
Date Tue, 14 Jun 2011 20:23:17 GMT

On 14 Jun 2011, at 20:56, Dirkjan Ochtman wrote:

> From your email, this seems like a false generalization, at least,
> going from AsciiDoc to all "plain text" formats. I don't know if
> you've used reStructuredText, but it's seriously flexible and comes
> with good (easily customizable) latex and html conversion out of the
> box. I understand DocBook is awesome for print things, but experience
> has also shown that DocBook has a significantly higher barrier to
> entry. Going from a wiki to DocBook is like moving to the entire other
> end of the scale (okay, going with latex would be worse). You had a
> bad experience with AsciiDoc, but Sphinx is just awesome.

What you saw there is the tip of the iceberg.

It just so happens that I am sharing my experience with AsciiDoc, but my complaints stem from
experience with a whole bunch of "plain text" syntaxes. At the root of it, DocBook is a plain
text syntax. I don't know why people think XML or HTML are somehow "binary" or something.
I mean, seriously. It's just text. DocBook isn't hard to author in  If you don't like typing
tags, then you wont like typing markup in any language. What DocBook (or HTML) has over something
like REST or Markdown or any of this other shovelware, is that its syntax is known by more
people, more intuitively, and comes with more authoring tools.

If you hand me a DocBook file, I can hand you back a man page, an info page, a HTML site,
a PDF, and some PostScript within about 5 minutes. Give me another half an hour, and I've
baked it into the build system. Also, rainbows and ponies. Seriously.

Ubiquity is severely underrated.
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